Computer engineering is a discipline that integrates several fields of electrical engineering and computer science required to develop computer hardware and software. Computer engineers usually have training in electronic engineering (or electrical engineering), software design, and hardware-software integration instead of only software engineering or electronic engineering. This field of engineering not only focuses on how computer systems themselves work, but also how they integrate into the larger picture.
In many institutions, computer engineering students are allowed to choose areas of in-depth study in their junior and senior year, because the full breadth of knowledge used in the design and application of computers is beyond the scope of an undergraduate degree. Other institutions may require engineering students to complete one year of General Engineering before declaring computer engineering as their primary focus.
The median pay for Computer Engineers is $100,920 per year according to Bureau of Labor Statistics, with starting salaries averaging $67,800 a year. Forbes shows that industry and economy will provide favorable employment opportunities for new graduates.
Fortunately, many Texas universities make the top 100 ranking list for best computer engineering colleges in the United States:
- University of Texas- Austin #8 for undergrad and #9 for graduate program
- Rice University in Houston- #15 for undergrad and #20 for graduate program
- Texas A&M University in College Station- #19 for undergrad and #21 for graduate program
- University of Texas at Dallas– #62 for graduate program
- Southern Methodist University (SMU) in Dallas- #83 (tie) for graduate program
- University of Texas at Arlington– #83 (tie) for graduate program
- University of Houston– #95 (tie) for graduate program
- Baylor University in Waco- #95 (tie) for graduate program
Students interested in pursuing engineering in college need to do several things to prepare themselves academically and for admissions into top schools. Students should take as many Math and Science courses as possible, especially at the Pre-AP, AP, or IB level. Students who are able to advance to Calculus, Physics, and Computer Science courses by their junior year will have an advantage. Students should also do some research into different fields within engineering, by speaking with faculty, current professionals in the field, current engineering students, and recent graduates. Other possible activities include joining a professional engineering society or organization in your area, volunteering or internship with an engineering firm, summer academic camps that expose students to engineering fields and degree plans.
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